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Jeep

Pat Brady Lassos Nellybelle - 1956 Whitman Coloring BookNellybelle - Old WWII CJ-2A Jeep that was constantly conking out on Pat Brady, the bumbling cook and sidekick of Roy Rogers "King of the Cowboys" and Dale Evans "Queen of the West (& Cowgirls)" on the western adventure THE ROY ROGERS SHOW/NBC/1951-57. As Pat Brady drove around Mineral City, the setting of the series, he had the odd habit of talking sweetly to his Jeep as if his verbal compliments could convince Nellybelle to get up and go.

Roy Rogers chose to include a Jeep into the program because he noticed that after WWII, the Jeeps were real popular, especially with children. Rogers himself owned a Jeep which he used for hunting, off road cruising and travel to and from his studio. Nellybelle's license number was 3P5-388.

TRIVIA NOTE:  The word "Jeep" is derived from the initials "GP: "G" for "Government" and "P" a code for an 80-inch wheelbase vehicle. Other possible origins: "Jeep" is based on the initials "GP" which were derived from the phrase "General Purpose" vehicle or "Jeep" was inspired by Eugene the Jeep, a strange animals who first appeared in the Popeye cartoon strip in 1936.

The concept for the Jeep came from a Bantam Reconnaissance prototype car built by the American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pennsylvania company (“Willis-Averland”) for the US army in 1940. After the end of World War II, jeeps were made by the company “Kaiser-Jeep.” The first Jeep factory in the United States was in Toledo Ohio.  

Over the years, the Jeep was built in the United States, Canada, China and in Europe by the Renault Corporation of France (who signed a joint venture agreement with American Motors Corporation in 1979) and finally before the turn of the Millennium by the DaimlerChrylser Corporation (who bought Jeep from AMC - then owned by Renault - in 1987). DaimlerChrylser currently produces three Jeep models:  the Grand Cherokee, the Liberty and the Wrangler.

In 2009, the museum (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, MO) that housed the Nellybelle Jeep from the TV seires, closed due to a downturn in the economy and a decreased number of visitors.

In July, 2010, Christie's Auction House conducted the sale of items from the museum, including "Nellybelle," as well as Rogers' and Evans' performance outfits; the preserved remains of Trigger the Horse, and Bullet the dog; about 60 pairs of cowboy boots; the Rogers family dining table.


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